Did you miss the earlier posts in this kitchen organization series? Catch up here: Menu Planning, Favorite Recipe Lists, Recipe Binder and Creating a Homemaking Binder. Stay tuned for more posts on topics like bulk storage, pantry and freezer organization, and soaking/fermenting!
This is a guest post from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship’s kitchen. Yep, the kitchen. Katie has been just swamped with the Real Food Face-Off and a few healthy foods carnivals, so she took the photos and turned the job over to me.
A big stress in the kitchen for any cook can be the WHERE question: “Where do I put all this stuff while I work?!” If your kitchen is small, like me (I prefer “petite”), you have to get creative.
Here’s my headshot:
Yes, that’s the full extent of the workspace for a real food kitchen. Katie had her husband install a few shelves like this for extra “setting stuff” space:
Most people just set things on the counter, but Katie has found a few unique places (I call them my secret gems) where she can stash something while she’s working. For example, did you know that little space between a double sink at the front is actually perfect for balancing a glass jar, a small pot, or even a plate of pancakes or tortillas?
And you CAN set a colander of cooked beans on top of your dirty dishes in the sink. That’s a great place to set something that you’ll be using again, too, as long as you’re the only one working and no one will set something dirty on top of it.
Wonder where you can store your soaking oatmeal, especially if you let it go 24 hours? It always used to get in the way, but a reader mentioned she stores her soaking stuff in here when she’s not using the oven:
Just make sure you do this to remind yourself NOT to turn it on!
Glass jars that come out of the dishwasher and need to be completely dry before being capped live on top of the toaster oven for a few hours to a day. That way the heat can help them dry, and the toaster won’t hurt them like it would plastic or food.
Dishes are Katie’s least favorite part of the kitchen. She’s considering patenting the phrase, “And you KNOW how I feel about dishes!” The worst part of that job is balancing everything in the drying rack if she doesn’t have hubby to back her up with the dish towel. Wiping off the counter to make sure you have a clean space to set clean dishes is a key step. Here is another creative idea:
Pots are flipped upside down to dry, and there’s plenty of air circulation because of the gas range burners. I don’t know how this would work with a flat-top stove. Katie also is lazy enough to store her cast iron pans (at least one of them) on the stove at all times.
All right, Kitchen! That’s enough! This is Katie here. I’m embarrassed that you shared those pictures of the shelves. What IS all that stuff??? It’s scary to see my counter in pictures. Sourdough starters and apple cider fermenting into ACV and milk thawing to make mozzarella cheese…all these things take space!
I hope this silly post gives some of you some random ideas for a small kitchen (excuse me: petite) and makes you feel validated about having messy counters. You’re not alone! And I’ve been working on it. I went through my pantry and pulled out everything that I don’t need truly at close reach. That made room for all my glass jars to be behind doors, and I got smarter about what I store on surfaces. It’s a relief to have more counter space and the kitchen feels so much more open. See?
Katie blogs at Kitchen Stewardship, which is dedicated to the mission of taking baby steps to balancing stewardship of all God’s gifts. The four pillars of Kitchen Stewardship are health, environment, time and money. Weekly Monday Missions give practical tips for making one change at a time to improve your kitchen practices through faith.